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Legal Updates

Impending Retirement - Not Age Discrimination

26 May 2010 #Employment

When applying for a position some posts require the applicant to hold certain qualifications.  However, what happens when you are already employed and in order for you to attain a higher-paid grade the requisite is that you must have a degree?

The case of Homer v West Yorkshire Police addressed this issue.   

The employee argued that since he was 61 he would not be able to obtain the required degree before his retirement in order to qualify for the highest grade.  The employee argued that this amounted to age discrimination.

The Court of Appeal adopted the EAT`s reasoning and held that the particular disadvantage complained of as being suffered by the employee was not the result of age discrimination but of the employee`s impending retirement.

To amount to indirect age discrimination the employer must have applied a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) to people of an age group which places them at a particular disadvantage compared to others.  This was not the case here.  The requirement from the employer had been applied to all staff, young and old and arguably it was no more difficult for an older person to obtain the degree than a younger person.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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